NY climbs up list of states with highest COVID-19 nursing home mortality rate after true numbers revealed

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New York rapidly climbed among the states with the highest number of coronavirus-related nursing home fatalities after officials recently revealed thousands of additional deaths.

The state’s total nursing home deaths are now equal to about 14% of its pre-pandemic nursing home population – higher than the national average of 12% – according to data from independent think tank the Empire Center.

That places New York 13th of all 50 U.S. states. It had fallen in at 35th based on the data it had previously released.

The state’s nursing home deaths as a percent of its total fatalities increased to 33% from 21%, according to the Empire Center, shifting its ranking to 33rd from 48th. By this measure, however, New York remains below the national average of 36%.

In terms of total nursing home deaths, the outlet has New York at the top – higher than California.

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As previously reported by Fox News, the state recently revealed that at least 12,743 long-term care residents died of the virus as of Jan. 19, far greater than the official tally of 8,505 on that day, cementing New York’s toll as one of the highest in the nation.

Those figures were released shortly after New York Attorney General Letitia James put out her own damning report, which concluded that total nursing home deaths in the state may have been undercounted by as much as 55%.

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James’ report and the newly released state data triggered renewed criticism over a policy Cuomo’s administration implemented early on in the pandemic regarding elderly, vulnerable New Yorkers.

On March 25, Cuomo issued a directive that required nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients released from hospitals. The idea was anticipatory, looking at a scenario where hospitals would get overwhelmed and be forced to discharge patients to go back to nursing homes.

The directive was reversed in May, when Cuomo said hospitals could not send patients back to nursing homes unless they had tested negative.

A controversial study issued in July found that a big factor in the senior care contagion was infection introduced by staff and visitors, since cases at the facilities were already spreading before infected patients were received.

The state has yet to release details over how the survey reached its conclusions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Brittany De Lea Fox News